CRYSTAL LAKE, IL – After announcing last month that district students would begin the school year remotely, the District 47 Board of Education extended remote learning for an additional three weeks, school officials announced on Tuesday.
The board made the decision at a meeting Monday night when it approved the extension of the remote learning model until Oct. 2. At that time, students will either remaining in remote learning for the remainder of the trimester or will return to the classroom for in-person instruction, school officials announced in a news release.
The new academic year will begin Aug. 24. The Board of Education voted 4-3 in late July to begin the school year on a remote basis due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. But at Monday’s meeting, board members decided it was important for students to continue learning remotely in case the pandemic continues in a way that would necessitate delaying a return to in-person instruction even longer than the first six weeks of school.
“We continue to monitor the impact of COVID-19 on our community and to prioritize the overall health and safety of our students, staff and families,” board president Rob Fetzner said in the news release. “Extending remote learning at the beginning of the school year will allow time (without threat of quarantine) for educators and families to build relationships and acclimate to the new Remote Learning 2.0 plan.
“This is critically important should we need to move into a remote learning only mode at some point this year due to the current pandemic.”
As part of superintendent Dr. Kathy Hinz’s Remote Learning 2.0 plan, students in all grade levels will have a consistent daily schedule, whether learning remotely or in-person once classes begin. The kindergarten through 8th grade schedule will run from 8 a.m. to none and from 2-3 p.m. Monday through Friday when all core classes and encore classes will be taught.
Each core subject area taught (including encore classes) will include “Facetime” with the teacher. This will be considered “synchronous learning” and it occurs when both teachers and students are online at the same time. When students are working independently offline, this is referred to as “asynchronous learning”, school officials announced.Students in grades K-8 will receive a minimum of 2.5 hours of synchronous learning per day
The afternoon time slot (2pm-3pm) will be a combination of synchronous and asynchronous learning. This hour is intended for enrichment, intervention, independent application, social-emotional learning or additional learning activities as assigned by teachers.
At the time of last month’s vote, Hinz said the district is attempting to do what’s best for district families during a time of such uncertainty.
“The health and safety of our students and staff remain our top priority as we navigate this pandemic and unique period in our nation’s and world’s history,” Hinz said in July. “We realize these are difficult decisions for our families, but we’re committed to providing the best educational experience possible for all students, whether it’s at school or at home.”
This article originally appeared on the Crystal Lake-Cary Patch